Shakuntala Devi movie is a rushed family drama from the perspective of a daughter.
STAR CAST - Vidya Balan, Sanya Malhotra, Jisshu Sengupta, Amit Sadh, Sheeba Chaddha, Prakash Belawadi.
DIRECTOR - Anu Menon
Shakuntala Devi, that features Vidya Balan in an eponymous role, is a complete family drama movie garnished with lots of feminism and sexism. This 'so-called' biopic fails to bring out the real biography of a genius Mathematician. The audience will get to see more of Shakuntala's responsibility as a mother and her personal growth as a famous personality.
As a real past life of Shakuntala Devi, we could see her family tragedy, which ignites her ambition to become a successful woman and receiving several awards in the field of Mathematics and holding several world records for solving the toughest calculations in a just few seconds.
The story is been narrated as a flashback by Anu Banerjee, Shakuntala Devi's only daughter, played by Sanya Malhotra. The story shows that since childhood, Shakuntala Devi was very clear about what she needs in her life. There is the scene in the movie where the then little Shakuntala tells her elder sister Sharda that she will not become a successful 'man', rather she will become a successful 'woman'. Thus, from a young age, he started earning for the family by doing math shows in his village and various schools nearby. However, somewhere, she was inclined towards a normal life where she could go to a school and enjoy her childhood. At the same time, she also had reassurance about her talent which she never wanted to turn down.
The movie keeps on leaping ahead in a rushing manner. At first, it shows her family tragedy wrapped in a blanket of poverty along with her extraordinary skills; and then on the next slide, it shows that Shakuntala has moved on to London with her two suitcases, does multiple shows and competes with the computer and gains the title of 'human computer'.
Jisshu Sengupta has portrayed the role of Paritosh Banerjee, Shakuntala Devi's husband, whom she meets at one of the shows at Bombay of 1968. Paritosh's character has been weakly executed and thus Jisshu does not get much ground to play. On the other hand, Sanya Malhotra had deserved a more detailed character. However, she managed to justify her role with her charm and talent. Amit Sadh was just for the namesake who has played the role of Anu Banerjee's husband. Although we've seen this man doing some brilliant acting in many other films, due to the lack of scope in this movie we missed his talent too.
Throughout the film, director Anu Menon never lets her audience forget that Shakuntala is a genius mathematician and hence she keeps showing the math shows and Shakuntala's achievements amidst of the film plot. Overall, it is a film from a daughter's perceptive not from Shakuntala Devi's perspective. Think for a while, how does it look when Sachin Tendulkar's biopic is being made from the viewpoint of his son, or Amitabh Bacchan's biopic from the lens of Abhishek. The film will look entirely different as the content will not have that feeling and thoughts which the protagonist has realised or experienced during his age. Additionally, this movie is all about the feminism and talk's about a mother's struggle that she has to face while juggling between a mother's life and professional life.
Vidya Balan has maintained the quirks of her character and has balanced it emotionally. She has made a brilliant attempt in portraying the protagonist character. However, Shakuntala Devi movie could have been far better if her actual biography would have been taken into consideration.
RATINGS - 3 out of 5 stars.